One thing I've noticed since being a parent is that I find myself saying things that I never thought I would say. Regularly these bizarre, ridiculous statements seem to fall out of my mouth before I even realise what I'm saying. Sentences like "I can smell poo but I can't find it. Where is the poo?", "If you get stuck in that locker then I will leave you and you will have to live at the swimming pool." And "Anna there is no such thing as a super special wedgie and even if there was I still wouldn't want to see it."
The title of this post is yet another sentence that I never thought I would say. Bring back the Spice Girls. It's an odd statement. A couple of years ago I wouldn't have been able to understand why anyone would put those words in that order. I was a teenage boy when the Spice Girls were around. When the Spice Girls were singing Wannabe I was not paying attention. I was watching England fail in Euro '96. As far as I was concerned there was only one single released that summer. I'm sure I don't need to name it for you. When the Spice Girls were singing Viva Forever I was watching Posh Spice's husband kick Argentinians. I had no interest in the Spice Girls. Until recently.
Anyone who knows my children will be well aware of their love of music and dancing. It doesn't take much for Anna to burst into song or Iris to start wiggling along to a beat. They have quite an eclectic selection of favourites at the moment. They are basically led by us. The playlist on my phone dedicated to the girls' favourites includes Toots and the Maytals, Kings of Leon, Tame Impala and Jake Bugg. Carolyn's influence means they are also fans of Daft Punk, Bruno Mars, Vance Joy and Lorde. But of course the time will come when the girls realise that I'm not quite as cool as I tell them I am. I am after all a man who recently downloaded a new album because I had overheard it playing in Clarks. And at that point they are going to be completely at the mercy of the media. Which worries me.
Anna already likes listening to new songs on the radio and watching the videos on the tv. Sometimes she will latch on to a new song and learn the words before asking us to download it for her. And lots of these songs are harmless. Dancing along to Gangnam Style isn't going to do them much harm. It's just a novelty song really. Like a modern day Agadoo. I'm not too worried about the enjoyment she gets from singing along with Thrift Shop. She is welcome to wear my granddads clothes and I imagine that yes, she would look incredible. But sometimes she strays into dodgy territory. She occasionally sings "I'm sexy and I know it" around the house. She once was watching a music channel and asked me who the lady with the pink hair and the wobbly bum was. How do you explain Nikki Minaj to a three year old?!
Anna and Iris want to join in and copy the dance moves they see on tv. They want to listen to music aimed at children. But what is there for them? You can't watch a music channel without seeing a bikini clad girl bumping and grinding every other song. Or hearing references to drugs. Or guns. Or having to see Pitbull. Bloody Pitbull. Does he really need to be on every single song? Why isn't there some cheesy girly pop group for the girls to enjoy? Why can't they spend their evening copying dance moves that are actually age appropriate?
So this is where the Spice Girls come in. I appreciate they weren't perfect and there was the occasional leather clad video but it was nothing compared to what the norm is now. On the whole they were family friendly. They sang simple, catchy songs with easy to follow dance moves (so I'm told!). And there were other similar groups too. Bring back Steps. Or S Club Seven. Or Bewitched. Anna and Iris would love it if this sort of stuff was around these days. And I think they deserve it too.
We played Anna a bit of Spice Girls a few weeks ago. And she loved it. And she loved dancing along too! Take a look...
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